iMayflower project given £2.4 million funding boost

Feb 26, 2019

A huge boost has been given to Plymouth’s iMayflower project, which now has funding totalling around £6 million thanks to an additional £2.4 million in match funding from the project’s delivery partners.

iMayflower was awarded £3.5 million from the Cultural Development Fund (CDF) last month and will now receive further funding from the six delivery partners: Creative England, Crowdfunder, Plymouth College of Art, Real Ideas Organisation, the University of Plymouth and Destination Plymouth.

A Cabinet paper has been published by Plymouth City Council, revealing more details about the iMayflower project.

Cabinet will be asked to approve the next steps, which includes a funding agreement with Arts Council England and collaboration agreement with the partners in order to access this significant investment and harness the power of Mayflower 400’s cultural programme, with the overall aim of driving growth in the city’s creative industries.

Leader of Plymouth City Council, Councillor Tudor Evans, said:

“iMayflower is an incredibly exciting opportunity for Plymouth and is going to have a transformational effect on the city’s creative and cultural landscape, making it an even better place to live, work and visit. “I’m delighted to be working closely with our delivery partners to give our developing creative economy the support it needs to flourish.”

iMayflower was one of only five successful applications made to the CDF out of  around 100 applications made from across England, recognising Plymouth’s significant investment in culture.  

As well as building on the initiatives already in place for the Mayflower 400 commemorations in 2020, the funding will enable a number of new and existing projects. This includes supporting Market Hall in Devonport, a world-class digital hub, to invest in the development of cinematic virtual reality and content for its immersive dome theatre.

iMayflower will also see the creation of a major new annual event, the Creative Arts Festival, which will showcase graduate employability and drive creative start-up businesses, and a Smart Citizens programme to enhance digital fabrication facilities - a manufacturing process using computer-aided design.

Devonport Market Hall

Marking the announcement at Devonport Market Hall, Plymouth. Left to right: Penny Morgan, Creative England; Ian Hutchinson, Plymouth College of Art; Professor Chris Bennewith, University of Plymouth; Councillor Tudor Evans, Plymouth City Council; Lindsey Hall, Real Ideas Organisation; Charles Hackett, Mayflower 400

A legacy of cultural and creative growth

The key investment areas for the project are: delivering large scale cultural events; growing our cultural and creative sector businesses; a skills and learning programme to upskill young people, communities, graduates and professionals; and access to innovative finance.

The financial support on offer includes help for new start-up businesses, as well as growth opportunities for existing digital technology businesses, with the intention of building a long-term positive legacy following Mayflower 400.

During the course of the project, iMayflower is aiming to engage more than 3,000 people through an exciting programme of workshops, events and courses, support more than 200 businesses and create nearly 350 jobs. iMayflower will soon be recruiting a Project Manager and Project Office to coordinate the project delivery. 

Plymouth is home to a dynamic digital sector including advertising, design, radio and TV software, film, visual and performing arts. This sector employs over 2,000 people with the average salary of £42,275.

Its creative industries is also thriving with marketing, fashion, world leading theatre, museums and performing and visual arts. Over 3,800 people are employed in this field with an average salary of £30,500.

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